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BC/Rockies in May 2013

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sunderland
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BC/Rockies in May 2013

We're planning on flying to vancouver in early May, 3 nights in Vancouver, then via rial to Jasper. 3 nights in Jasper then a scenic tour to Banff. 5 nights in Banff then home from Calgary. We're on a budget hence economy via rail rather than rocky mountaineer. We had also hoped to do a whale watching trip and a wildlife tour to see bears. Is this possible at this time of year? What can we expect the weather to be like? Also what else would be a must given we only have 12 nights in total?

seattle
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1. Re: BC/Rockies in May 2013

unless your going the very end of May, some lakes and attractions will still be frozen. Maligne Lake and cruise and Moraine Lake usually open the first part of June. Hoping you took this into acct. Peyto Lk road may also be closed. Weather is normally ok during day but much cooler in early morning and late evening.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: BC/Rockies in May 2013

Spring-time is a great time to see wildlife in the Rockies, since all the animals tend to be in the valley bottoms because the high country is still snowy. There are small local tour companies that offer wildlife watching excursions, but there is no guarantee about seeing bears. Unlike out on the coast during the salmon run, bears in the Rockies do not have specific locations with plentiful food supplies, so they wander far and wide. That said, however, in early spring, roadsides and their plentiful dandelions are one of the easiest places to spot bears.

It sounds like your vacation is going to all happen in the first half of May... do note that this is still "off season" (which means things are cheaper), however some attractions and roads are seasonal and don't open until the May long weekend (May 17th in 2013), and as davidgmg mentioned, there are even a few things that don't get going until early June.

sunderland
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3. Re: BC/Rockies in May 2013

Thanks for this information. If we decide to travel to Whistler for two nights what can we see around this time of year? I understand the peak to peak gondola will still be closed. Is it still worth a visit. We are still undecided whether to visit first half or second half of may.

Greater Sydney...
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4. Re: BC/Rockies in May 2013

I would give Whistler a miss if you are going to be visiting the Rockies.

I would also choose the second half of May.

Port Moody, Canada
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5. Re: BC/Rockies in May 2013

Definitely second half of May if you can. Better weather for the Rockies...and Frommy is right, if you're going to the Rockies then use the extra time there or in Vancouver and skip Whistler. You can do the whale watching tour from Vancouver and you may see grizzlies at Grouse Mountain although they're captive. I'd also spend an extra day in Jasper 4 there, 4 Banff. People often underestimate all there is to see in the Jasper area and it's less crowded than Banff. Will you be with a tour in Jasper or will you rent a car to get around?

sunderland
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6. Re: BC/Rockies in May 2013

Second half of May it is then, thanks. As we've decided on Via Rail from Vancouver to Jasper we're tied to days we can travel. Our options are 3 nights BC, 1 night on Via Rail and 8 Rockies or 6 nights BC, 1 night Via Rail and 5 nights Rockies. We were going to hire a car for 3 days, 1 full day Jasper, 1 Jasper to Banff (inc Ice Explorer) and 1 in Banff. Is Caribou Lodge a nicer hotel than Ptarmigan Inn?

7. Re: BC/Rockies in May 2013

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